Bacon Academy Bobcat athletes wrap up a strong season

By Kevin Hotary - Staff Writer
Colchester - posted Mon., Jun. 20, 2011
Bacon Academy senior Zach Bussiere advanced to the state finals in boys' tennis. Photos by Kevin Hotary.
Bacon Academy senior Zach Bussiere advanced to the state finals in boys' tennis. Photos by Kevin Hotary.

The end of the school year brings to a close what has been, overall, a very good fall season for Bacon Academy athletics, with a couple of very strong finishes in the state tournaments.

Reeling off 12 straight victories to start the season, softball coach Anne DiPierro said that she expected the team to have a good season, but posting the best start in Bacon Academy history was a pleasant surprise.

“We’re overall just pretty strong in every aspect right now,” DiPierro said of her team, which finished the season 18-2, earning a number-one ranking in Class L and a first-round bye in the state tourney. The team rode the season's momentum all the way to the tournament final, where they lost 3-0 to Foran High School of Milford. For her efforts in leading the team to the final, DiPierro, in her 16th year as head coach, was named Coach of the Year by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association All-State Softball selection committee.

The tournament success extended to boys’ tennis as well, as number-one singles player, senior Zach Bussiere, seeded second in the Class M state tournament, swept his way to the final, losing only five games through the first five rounds. In the final, Bussiere played number-four seed Bradley Orban, also of Foran, and was defeated 6-0, 6-1. Overall, in what head coach Dave Gruber called a “rebuilding year,” the Bobcats finished 6-11. 

The girls’ tennis team fared somewhat better, finishing the season at 8-8, while losing in the qualifying round of the state team tournament, 6-1 to Burlington. Number-one singles player, senior Catherine Clark, advanced as far as the second round of the state open tournament, as did the doubles team of Hannah Pettit and Julia Puscas.

Several members of both the boys’ and the girls’ track teams competed well in the state tournament, led by high jumper Jake Bloomquist. The senior finished first in the state tournament and fifth in the state open. Senior Rob Cotten displayed his overall athletic ability, finishing seventh in the finals of the 110-meter hurdles and fifth in the pole vault at the state tourney, and sixth in pole vault at the open. In addition, Cotten finished fifth out of 50 athletes in the decathlon. In discus, Senior Will Bartol finished eighth in the state.

The girls’ team was equally successful in the state tournament, led by sophomore Charisse Townsend with third- and 11th-place finishes in discus and javelin, respectively. Some of the other younger Bobcats showed why coach Christine Taylor is optimistic for the team’s future. Freshmen Katie Stevens finished fourth in the 800-meter, Alexia Bohnekamper was fifth in the 300 hurdles and 12th in the high jump, and Sierra Cameron finished eighth in the long jump. Sophomore Amanda Weinberger was seventh in the pole vault, and senior Kelly Dixon finished seventh in the shot put.

Finally, in baseball, the Bobcats finished 14-6, earning a number-nine seed in the tournament, where they swept through the first two rounds, losing in the quarterfinals, 7-3, to Farmington. During the season, coach Dave Shea achieved yet another milestone in what can only be called a stellar career as a coach at Bacon Academy, reaching the 300 wins mark in baseball, adding to his 300-plus wins as the coach for both boys’ and girls’ basketball.


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